Director: Brad Peyton
Starring: Dwyane Johnson, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy
Oh, my. Rampage suffers from a severe identity crisis. The question is, why? And how? This should have been an easy layup. A slam dunk. Instead, I'm left trying to figure out who blocked the shot. This film reeks of studio meddling. Either that or, Brad Peyton is one of the most incompetent filmmakers on the face of the planet. To which I know, he CAN pull of a fun, not take itself too seriously, action film starring Dwayne Johnson. He did it before with San Andreas. Someone NEEDS to explain to me why this film feels like it should have been rated "R". Someone NEEDS to explain to me why the first act of the film, feels like a different movie? Whose idea was it to play things "serious" with this movie? Someone NEEDS to explain to me whom came up with the idea of the Wyden siblings? These "characters", may be two of the worst film characters ever to be put to film. EVER. To that point, why is there any other humanoid person in this movie besides Dwayne Johnson, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Every other person here is DREADFUL. Jefferey Dean Morgan and Dwayne Johnson, are in a totally different film here. It's the one we paid to see: a movie about giant, mutant monsters, attacking cities. When Rampage stops trying to be something "serious", we finally get what this whole film should have been. Unfortunately, by then, it's too little too late. While the actual rampage in Rampage is the movie we came to see, the rest of the film isn't worth your gas money.
Title: A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Milliicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
One of the big questions I had going into A Quiet Place, was if the film would betray its premise. A lot of times with these "high concept" type films, they will abandon the rules set up for the sake of the plot. Miraculously, inexperienced filmmaker, John Krasinski, manages to come out of A Quiet Place virtual unscathed. I said virtually. There is one element which I didn't quite buy fully (And sneezing. How does one sneeze?!). That being said, A Quiet Place is a nearly flawless powder-keg of tension and originality. Despite a few flaws, Krasinski, keeps his film moving. He opts for the creative license approach, which works in favor of the film. The entire cast here is great. Emily Blunt and Krasinski, do a wonderful job being emotional anchors to their kids, who are also great. The story doesn't really have much, and this can slow the pacing of the film down at times. Sometimes, things can feel repetitive, especially as we approach the climax. However, for A Quiet Place, less is more. It's a simple story, which is more than made up for in its execution.
Title: Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Ty Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg
As Ready Player One unfolds, you can literally feel Steven Spielberg, nudging and winking at you. This is where the film succeeds the most. Ready Player One, is Spielberg, just having fun and taking you along with him. I personally have not read the book, so I didn't quite know what to expect with this. I knew it was chock full of references and Easter eggs, but damn. There's so much fun to be had with this film and Spielberg, masterfully weaves so much in, without it being overpowering. Sure, there are the blatant references. However, most of them are crucial or have relevance to the plot, or a scene. The rest is more blink and you miss it. Or is it more like try and pick out EVERY- SINGLE-THING-HAPPENING-IN-THIS-SCENE-RIGHT-NOW-OMG-WHAT-THE-FUCK-IS-HAPPENING... The cast is great, with Olivia Cooke being the strongest here. Where the film suffers, is in some of its story. It doesn't always quite work, and the film can get bogged down, which makes the movie feel long. That being said, Spielberg, knows where the money is and he gives it to you. What we are left with, is a fun, classic, Spielbergian, 80's, feeling romp. And it will make you leave with a wide grin on your face. This movie, is helluva lot of fun.